Feeds

God particle hunt breakthrough expected TODAY

Cancel lunch - significant Higgs boson data promised

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Expect an update on modern science's understanding of the fabric of the universe this lunchtime: physicists working on the Large Hadron Collider will announce their latest findings at 1300 GMT.

The boffins will reveal whether or not their results indicate the existence of the Higgs boson, the "god particle" that gives mass to some particles. The seminar will be webcast from Geneva and a press statement issued at 1430 GMT.

They are not expected to confirm anything conclusive but from a CERN pre-seminar announcement, it seems that the results will be significant:

These results will be based on the analysis of considerably more data than those presented at the summer conferences, sufficient to make significant progress in the search for the Higgs boson, but not enough to make any conclusive statement on the existence or non-existence of the Higgs.

There are two experiments at CERN testing for the Higgs boson: Atlas and CMS. Each uses different methods to search for the particle.

How the findings correlate will be vital in ruling whether a telltale spike in readings is a statistical anomaly or evidence of the particle's existence.

However, it's likely the data available now will be below the bar needed to prove a discovery. The two experiments are only pinpoint the particles at a rate of 2.5 to 3.5 sigma (the measure of statistical certainty). As the Reg reported last week: "At 2.5 sigma, there is a 1 per cent chance that the results are a fluke, and at 3.8 sigma, that chance drops to 0.01 per cent."

The experts hope to have gathered enough data by March to be sure of the finding.

If the results don't find the Higgs where it is expected to be, that would be an even more dramatic discovery, meaning that current physics theory would have to be rethought. It's a possibility - there are some gaps within Higgs' Standard Model theory.

Tune into CERN at 1pm GMT for an update. ®

Bootnote

You can catch the findings from the presentation here.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.